e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Chevrefeuille”


Today Chèvrefeuille has given the topic of departure as a prompt for haiku. For examples he’s roamed to haiku and to the Persian poetry of Rumi.

Departure is a huge topic – every time we go to work or shopping or wherever, we depart from where we are. Sometimes we depart further afield on holiday, to visit or to escape. We may be tourists or refugees; we have departed willingly or fearfully. Some kind of departure is inevitable.

Blackbird on roof


Everything departs: spring or rainy season, animals or plants, days of celebration or grief.

Since haiku are usually about nature I have chosen to look at departures in the natural world.

Each season to its
own time. Each bird to its own
song. Then both have flown.


Juxtaposition – a new haiku challenge

Carpe Diem has started a series on haiku writing techniques. The first one is on ‘juxtaposition’. Reading the explanation, I realise that I’ve done this often in the past without naming it.

Having a name for something makes it easier to detect and to use properly, so I’m very grateful to Chèvrefeuille for his tutorial and the name.

The following is a haiku I wrote last year.

Soft rain, cloud-barred sun,
rainbow spanning the sky. Below,
the sandcastle crumbles.

Haiku challenge – to distill a new haiku out of another poem

Carpe Diem has set us a fascinating challenge this time. As Chevrefeuille points out, poets often get their inspiration from the work of other poets, and we can try the same.

The poem offered as a starting point is by Otomo Miyuki and was written at the end of a period of conflict and war.

Our Sovereign, a god,
Has made his Imperial City
Out of the stretch of swamps,
Where chestnut horses sank
To their bellies.

The poem has powerful images – does that make the distillation easier? I don’t know, but if you follow the links on the Carpe Diem post, you’ll find haiku that really rise to this challenge.

The following is my contribution:

Now the swamps are gone
homeless will-o’-wisps will haunt
the imperial streets.

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